It’s hump, it’s hump, it’s hump, it’s hump day! Check it out!

bog

Sorry, but I figured that Will Ferrell could be the cure to your Wednesday blues!   It worked, right?  I’m sure it did!  So, I may not have motivated you as much on Monday as I could have, but I have a snack that will definitely get you over your hump day and into the home stretch.

My mother introduced me to this recipe after having it at a wine tasting several weeks ago.  Ready for it?  It’s The New York Times White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip and it is very delicious (and healthy)!

What is a garlic scape?

Garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers. Garlic scapes are both edible and delicious, as are the bulbils.  Hardneck garlics include three distinct varieties: Rocambole, Purple Stripe and Porcelain.  Rocombole garlic is the type you’ll see with the distinctive curling, topset scapes that give them the nickname “serpent” garlic.  

Benefits of garlic

I know, I know – garlic is stinky and gives you bad breath and wards off vampires, but it also has some amazing health benefits.

  1. Garlic contains Allicin, a highly valued sulfur compound, shown to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of certain cancers, restore suppressed antibody response, and prevention of the common cold.
  2. Garlic is a rich source of selenium which helps to aid with thyroid health, a growing issue in the US.
  3. Garlic may even be capable of regulating fat cells, though research is still pending, as garlic has proven anti-inflammatory properties and obesity has now been classified as a chronic state of “low-grade inflammation”.  However, studies are being conducted to see the long-term health benefits of garlic regarding the treatment of obesity.

So now that I know how good this is for me, what’s the recipe??

For this recipe you will need:

1/3 cup of scapes, sliced

1 TBSP of freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 TSP coarse sea salt

15 oz of canned (or soaked) cannellini beans

Ground black pepper to taste

1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a food processor (or blender) combine the scapes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and blend til coarsely chopped.  Add in the cannellini beans and blend it into a rough puree.  Add in the olive oil and continue to blend until smooth.  Pulse in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is a dip consistency.

Add more salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil to garnish.

I actually used less olive oil and more water and it was VERY tasty.  I think you can start with less and then, if you feel you need more, add a little more.

There you have it!  A light, tasty, and beneficial snack that’s elegant enough for a party but simple enough for any day of the week.

scapes

Happy snacking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Greek salads.  I love them in a pita. I love them with or without meat …I HEART them completely.   I …feel like Dr. Seuss.  Well, the point I’m making is, I don’t know if I have ever had a Greek salad that I didn’t like. So, a while back I reviewed the As Seen On TV Veggetti and I gave it a pretty fair rating for the cost.  Well, that was a bit of an understatement as I have really gotten my money’s worth out of that little gadget!

YES!!

YES!!

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, today I decided to make a Greek salad using my local farmers market cheese and vegettied (hello, Urban Dictionary!) cucumbers.   Along with the cucumber, I chopped up an heirloom tomato, half a red onion, black olives, and the (delicious) local feta cheese from Meadowstone Farm.  For the dressing, I used one of my fave toppings ever, Joseph’s Tzaztiki, but decided to add about two tablespoons of pickle juice (yes, pickle juice) to cut it with to make it a tasty dressing for this simple salad.

bits

Mix

dressing

salad

As you can see, that salad looks (and, believe me, it was) pretty freakin’ delicious.  Honestly, I didn’t miss the lettuce, because cucumbers are so delightful during the summer; so refreshing and delicious that they truly make this salad un’beet’able.  What can I say, I’m a salad “greek”.  WOW! I know that was bad, but as for the salad?  It was good.

Happy healthy eating!

xoxo

 

Happy Sunday!  Yes, it was a Sunday Runday!  I took a 2.5 mile run in the rain with my pup, Maggie. We would have gone a bit further, but Miss Maggie loves to smell absolutely everything she passes!  In case you don’t know Maggie you can take a moment to bask in her beauty and wonderment.

Maggie

If you can pull yourself away, please do!  So, this past week (or so) has been a trying one.  I have made some important life decisions and as such I have experienced a veritable roller coaster of emotions. However,  I am a true believer in everything happening for a reason, good or bad.  It’s not always clear at the time and this takes years (for me nearly a decade) to understand and accept, but I get it now.    So, yes, crappy things happen and things don’t always turn out the way we want them to, but when you’re true to yourself and have a wonderful support network, I believe, you can make it through anything.   Things are on the up and up, so I am pleased and putting my energy into positive activities that will keep my mind, body, and soul prosperous.  After going through a rough spell I always feel like I want to be at a podium thanking those who have supported me along the way.  I am very lucky to have wonderful friends, a loving family,  incredible fiance,  adorable dog, and most absolutely importantly, my health!

Thank you, Sis (and Walt!)

Thank you, Sis (and Walt!)

Honorable mentions:

I would also like to thank Haagen Dazs Gelato, popchips, and Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies for their support!  The wind beneath my wings.  Hehe.

No'bunny' does it better.

No’bunny’ does it better.

Hope you’ve had an empowering, fantastic, and inspiring weekend too!

xoxo

 

 

What did you do this weekend?  I ruined my jeans, burned my face, and had indigestion.  I should probably explain myself.  Well, as I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for As Seen On TV products.  So, the other day, while I was walking through the drug store and saw the big sign overhead “As Seen On TV” and, well, I was sucked in!  I was just about to say there was nothing there to throw my money at and there it was …the Stufz Burger Press!  I do not eat burgers all that often and I truly did purchase this with the intention  of making veggie burgers with it, but I decided this weekend that I would try it out with beef and make a selection of gourmet burgers.

stufz

What is the Stufz Burger Press?

It is a round burger chamber that boasts it produces, “a perfectly stuffed and neatly sealed patty every time”.  Does it do this?  It can …if you do it properly.  This weekend I got together with my friend Gordon at Short & Hungry (amazingly hilarious food blog, by the way) to hit the grill and put the Stufz to the test!

How did it go?

Here’s the thing about As Seen on TV Products, they are usually what they claim to be, but you kinda have to follow the instructions.  I will say, in our defense, that the instructions that come with the Stufz are not the best for those who cannot follow instructions in the best of times (redundant, but makes my point.)  So, needless to say we were ready to give up on it until we decided to watch this youtube video on how to use it properly.  Once we figured it out, it actually does make a perfect and neat patty in the end.

What did we make?

Our burger menu included:

Mac n’ Cheese (Kraft Macaroni & Cheese)

Brie and Caramelized Onion

Toppings Stuffed (Relish, Ketchup, Mustard, and Cheese)

Potato Puff Stuffed (Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs)

How well did they cook?

Well, as I stated in my Thursday post, I have not been grilling for long.  There are still a lot of, um, elements to grilling that I don’t get.  What may you ask?  Well like, if you’re cooking giant hamburgers filled with cheese you should probably back away from the grill once you open it.  Hence why I ruined my jeans and burned my face.  I’m okay, by the way, it was just a tiny spec of grease.  In fact the entire situation reminded me of the 30 Rock episode with the Tracy Jordan’s Meat Machine.  You know, the scene when the grease keeps leaping out and burning Kenneth.  So funny, well, until it’s happening to you!

How did they taste?

I’d love to say that each burger we made was amazing, but that was not the case.  The best one, hands down, was the potato puff stuffed burger.  Makes sense though, seeing as burgers and fries go together beautifully.  Coming in second would be the brie and caramelized onion burger – with that combination you really cannot go wrong.  In third place was the toppings stuffed burger – it was good, but really not much better than just using them on top.  So that leaves us with last place, which was a big bummer, the mac n’ cheese burger; it just didn’t do well with the Kraft variety, unfortunately.  Tips for improvement on the mac n’ cheese burger, anyone?

Tips for Stufz Success

One thing I have to stress is food safety.  Any time you are stuffing meat you have to be very mindful of cross-contamination.  Be sure to use new utensils each time you stuff the burger and to wear gloves as well.  Also, any food that you stuff inside the burger that requires cooking must be cooked before placing inside your burger meat. Nothing dampens a food experience more than making yourself sick.  That’s no fun!

The Overall Verdict?

For $9.99 the Stufz can add some fun to your next barbecue!

Happy eating!

 

 

It’s Thursday.  It’s “all downhill from here” day, peeps!  I’m sure you can tell from my post title that I’m going to pay homage to foods cooked on the grill!  So you want to know what was all up in my George Foreman?  First of all, it wasn’t a George Foreman, but believe me, you’ll be hearing all about my love of his grilling devices in a future post!  For my dinner tonight I decided to grill left over veggies from the holiday weekend.  I grilled up some zucchini, summer squash, yellow pepper, radish, and red onion.   I created a mixture of chopped veggies as well as VEGGETTI sliced versions of the veggies – which I marinated in a little (I mean tiny) bit of olive oil, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper — mm mm! Now, I am not putting this lightly when I say I am a fan of sweet potatoes.  I absolutely love them.  When I go to a restaurant and the waiter asks if I want “regular or sweet potato fries?” I respond a little something like this…

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Okay, so I’m a fan, you get it.  Funnily enough, I have never tried to grill a sweet potato, but I must admit, I have only been using a grill for about a year – so there’s a lot to more to explore!  For those of you out there cooking sweet potatoes on the regular, you know that unless you are microwaving them, they take a pretty long time to cook.  I thought I would take a stab (no pun intended) and throw them on the grill.  I started by cutting them in half but then decided to quarter them to make them shaped like a big sweet potato “skin”.  How did they turn out you might ask?  Fantastic!  Grilling a sweet potato is like eating sweet potato fries, but without all the deep fryer guilt.  I also decided to add a bit of tzatziki to my sweet potatoes, which I can’t take credit for; my sister, who is an avid vegetarian, turned me on to this combination and I’ve never looked back since.  Also worth mentioning, but I think I have some work to do, were the eggplant “fingers” I grilled.  They were a little bit too soggy for my liking as I think I may have gone overboard with the olive oil, but totally still delicious.

I also paired my veggies with some chicken cutlets and was ready to eat!  All in all a dinner which was healthy, tasty, and easy!  Also, clean up was pretty low-key which is always pretty awesome.  I am always excited to cook any time that does NOT include me having to also do a big clean-up.   My boyfriend has a sudsy future ahead of him, but in all fairness, he’ll be eatin’ well, so it’ll be all good!

purty foods.

purty foods.

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Hope your week is going well!

 

What did you eat today?